DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — The Syrian Army regained control over Palmyra earlier on Thursday with support of the Russian aircraft operating in Syria.
"Control over Palmyra creates the basis for further expansion of military actions conducted by our forces against the Daesh organization," the army said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.
According to the statement, the liberation of Palmyra clearly shows that the Syrian Army and its allies are the only force capable of countering Daesh terrorists in the region.
Daesh seized Palmyra, which was the capital of the Palmyrene Empire and one of the richest cities of the Roman Empire, in May 2015. Terrorists destroyed a number of historic sights designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Arch of Triumph, the Temple of Baalshamin and the Temple of Bel. Jihadists also looted the national museum and the famous Palmyra’s necropolis.
managed to liberate Palmyra. Russian specialists demined the historic center as well as residential areas of the city. Russian historians and renovators visited Palmyra in early July 2016 and prepared a report assessing the condition of the damaged sites and costs of the renovation works. However, in December 2016, the city was retaken by jihadists.
Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the December Daesh offensive on Palmyra. According to the Russian leader, the situation in Palmyra was a result of discordant actions of different players in Syria.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.
Moscow has been conducting a counter-terrorist campaign in Syria since September 30, 2015, at President Bashar Assad's request.